MICHAEL Kidd is gritting his teeth for an uphill battle ahead of him.
He is the Country Labor candidate for the seat of Murray, one of the safest conservative seats in Australia.
“I reckon I’m the underdog in this upcoming by-election, but somebody’s got to stand up for the underdog too,” he said.
“I might do a Steven Bradbury and sneak in with the others.”
Even when watching football Michael tends to cheer for the underdog – a personality trait he has had his entire life.
It’s what led him to doggedly contest the seat of Murray despite the odds and his wife’s complaints.
“Leeanne said she was going to kill me if I stand, but I got this offer and it was too good to turn down,” he said.
Michael said his wife and three kids were well and truly sick of him talking politics at the dinner table, but were still giving him their full support.
Even if he does not win the by-election, Michael said he would consider it a major victory if he can swing the electorate closer to Labor.
“We need to become a marginal seat again and attract people’s attention and be fought over, like the pretty girl at the pub,” he said.
“Nobody wastes their time on a safe seat. Normally we don’t exist, but if we’re the one that’s holding that balance of power then we can make a difference.”
Michael said his supporters were getting frustrated at the long-held status quo.
“It’s been a safe National party seat and people are starting to say nothing’s happened in the last 30 years.”
“There is a fair bit of dissatisfaction with the local member who just resigned, and of course we’re spending $722,000 on a by-election so people are unhappy about that.”
“I think it’s good to have a bit of a turnover every now and then some fresh faces.”
If Michael does get elected, his top priorities would be better funded public services.
“We really need to resource our TAFEs and schools better. Some of the people I’ve spoken to want to take on a different career and many people were forced to because their industry closed down.”
“We’d like to see TAFE going away from being run like a for-profit business and getting back to a service business and a business that’ important to the growth of our communities.
“In the eastern part of the electorate we’ve had really big issue with maintaining the quality of the health services as well as access to police services after hours.”
“We’re killing our towns, so we need to maintain quality services to keep people in town and ensure a future for our young people.”
“A lot of our kids want to stay local and they need to have opportunities and jobs in our communities.”